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Optical Detection of the Anesthetic Agent Propofol in the Gas Phase

Laurila TK, Sorvajarvi T, Saarela J, Toivonen J, Wheeler DW, Ciaffoni L, Ritchie GAD, and Kaminski CF,"Optical Detection of the Anesthetic Agent Propofol in the Gas Phase", Anal. Chem., 83 (10), pp 3963–3967, (2011), DOI:10.1021/ac200690f, | pdf


anesthetic agent propofol (2,6-diisopropylphenol) is the most widely used intravenously administered drug in general anesthesia. However, a viable online capability to monitor metabolized levels of propofol in patients does not currently exist. Here we show for the first time that optical spectroscopy has good potential to detect metabolized propofol from patients’ exhaled breath. We present quantitative absorption measurements of gas phase propofol both in the ultraviolet and middle-infrared spectral regions. We demonstrate that a detection limit in the subparts-per-billion concentration range can be reached with photoacoustic spectroscopy in the UV spectral region, paving the way for the development of future optical monitors.